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Introduction examples

Example 1:

Bloch and Singh, 2001:90

Julie, a 25-year-old single accountant, and a practising Jehovah's Witness, lives with her retired parents. She was referred by her family doctor with an abrupt onset of psychotic symptoms. This followed two weeks of lowered mood after the break-up of her first ever relationship, which was with a co-worker who unexpectedly left to travel overseas.

Example 2:

Student's report

Lucy is a 34 year-old single mother who is living with her fiance and her 5 year-old son. Lucy was referred to the Monash Medical Centre by her general practice with a 4-week history of headache, the symptoms of which were so bad that she forced to resign from work. A subsequent CT scan indicated the presence of a tumour in the right frontal lobe. Upon the CT diagnosis, Lucy experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety, which have progressively worsened. She is now awaiting the results of a cranial biopsy.

Example 2:

Student's report

Mrs P, a 68 year-old married housewife, lives with her husband on a farm. She presented to the Emergency Department at the Monash Medical Centre with diarrhoea and moderate dehydration following bowel resection two weeks earlier to remove carcinoid tumours. This follows a two-and-a-half year history of diarrhoea and weight loss, which has seen Mrs P become increasingly housebound and more dependent on her husband, who suffers Tourrett's syndrome and depression, for care. Her current critical state follows closely on the suicide of her youngest daughter (aged 39 years) in March this year.

Writing tips:

The Introduction is different to the Summary that comes at the end of the report. It is much briefer (2-5 sentences) and is designed to set the scene for your reader. In it, you will establish the current presenting complaint and emphasise likely causal elements. You may specify a diagnosis, especially if this is relevant to the presenting complaint and is established prior to the current presentation or is known at the time you conduct the interview with the patient. It is less likely to include data from sections other than the history of the presenting complaint (and past psychiatric history where relevant).

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